A survey conducted by Frost & Sullivan and sponsored by Cisco and Verizon finds that a growing number of businesses big and small are adopting advanced collaboration tools, such as VOIP, immersive video and fixed mobile convergence. Budget pressures and the environment are key drivers, and respondents say the technologies are improving. A growing number of businesses plan to continue investing in the technologies despite the struggling economy.
Concerned about cutting expenses and reducing their global carbon
footprint, more businesses are adopting advanced collaboration tools,
according to a survey by research firm Frost & Sullivan.
Those companies also are getting a rapid return on those investments.
The survey, sponsored by Cisco Systems and Verizon, found that
businesses and government agencies that implemented these advanced
collaboration tools-from VOIP (voice over IP) soft phones, immersive
video and fixed mobile convergence-are seeing an average return of four
times their investment in deploying the technologies.
The ROI was greatest in such areas as sales, marketing, and research
and development, according to Brian Cotton, vice president for
information and communications technologies for Frost & Sullivan.
"This latest research shows adopting progressively more advanced
unified communications and collaboration tools can help organizations
achieve a corresponding return on collaboration and improvement across
all business functions," Cotton said in a statement.
For the study, released Oct. 14, Frost & Sullivan surveyed 3,662
IT professionals in the United States and countries in Europe and Asia.
Those companies ran the gamut, from SMBs to larger enterprises.
Along with the improved ROI, the research also found a growing
number of businesses are interested in either expanding their use of
advanced collaboration tool or-for those who have yet to deploy
them-starting to use them.
Forty-four percent of those companies surveyed have deployed unified
communication and collaboration tools-which range from telepresence
technologies and immersive video to integrated voice, e-mail and
instant messaging-and 40 percent of those companies plan to increase
their spending in the area.
More than 80 percent of businesses that haven't yet deployed such
tools plan on doing so to various degrees in the next two to three
Other key findings from the survey include that VOIP is the leading
tool for delivering collaboration applications. About 92 percent of IT
managers said VOIP quality is at least as good as traditional wireline
In addition, more than 50 percent of respondents said collaboration
tools are enabling them to achieve greater balance in their lives,
according to the survey, which indicated that telecommuting also is
gaining traction among businesses and workers.
About 61 percent said advanced collaboration tools are reducing the
need to travel for business, and more than half said such tools were
good alternatives to traveling to face-to-face meetings.
In addition, 53 percent said environmental concerns, such as
reducing their company's carbon footprint, were key drivers in adopting